A Week Long Examination of the Consequences of Capitalist Comfort

Three posts last week examined from different angles how much the earth and communities of color suffer because of Western Civilization’s hubristic assumptions that the earth and its peoples are there to be used and abused.

Press Conference and Petition Delivery on Tuesday, March 10th @ 2 PM! Meet at City Hall, march to Sen. Heinrich’s Office and then to the Governor’s Office. Demand an Environmental Impact Study BEFORE LANL Plutonium Pits Are Created. Gather at the St. Francis statue at Santa Fe City Hall at the corner of Lincoln and Marcy at 2 pm on Tuesday, March 10th.  Then walk to Senator Heinrich’s office to deliver petition signatures to staffers from Heinrich, Udall, and Lujan offices.  Then on to the Roundhouse and deliver the petition signatures to the Governor’s office on the fourth floor.

Friday, Noon, Sit In at the Governor’s Office. Last week, Retake surfaced the question: When is enough, enough? When do we begin to take serious action? One suggestion made, was to begin sitting in outside the Governor’s office every Friday.

Sunday, at Journey Santa Fe, Youth United for Climate Crisis Action presented their plan for a major action on April 22, the 50th Earth Day. During their presentation a very young girl, certainly not yet a teenager, stood up and asked why we are not staging weekly Sunrise Movement sit-ins on Fridays at our legislature and she pledged to be there this Friday. So do I.

I am asking you to join us. I am not at all certain where this leads. At this point, Retake wants to follow YUCCA’s lead and so their demands can be ours. But this Friday we just want our Governor to know that we are demanding serious climate action. While sitting outside her office, we can have a discussion among all of those present. What do we want? What more can we do to demand that our leaders act? Join us.

A Look Back At Last Week’s Posts

Generally, I try to point readers to one or two of the more important posts from last week, but this time I can’t really do that. I feel that both the Tuesday and Thursday posts, revolving around the work of Jack Forbes, Columbus and Other Cannibals, are both must reads and hopefully something you then send along to a friend or two.

And Saturday’s post included brief summaries and links to four articles any one of which might be of interest and the Saturday blogs always get about half the number of readers as the T and Th blog achieves, so many of you missed this post.

Of most note was the Rolling Stone article, investigative journalism at its best, as it dove into the incredible degree that the gas & oil industry operate in a completely unregulated environment as relates to the highly radioactive fracking byproduct: produced water. The article goes into great detail as to just how brazenly the industry allows the detritus of their industry to pollute our rivers and our neighborhoods (almost always low-income communities of color). I thought I understood what was at stake with NM’s “produced water act.” This article is simply impossible to believe.

Another article previewed on Saturday, outlined how a NM coal plant in Artesia is now the nation’s single worst emitter of the highly toxic benzene, a highly known cancer causing byproduct of coal/gas production. The Artesia plant sits in downtown Artesia, directly across the street from a community park and elementary school where children choke on the plant’s leukemia causes fumes. All for our profit.

Together, the three posts force us to confront just how much we are willing to tolerate, how often we are able to turn the page and ignore the shameful acts that are committed every day so that we can continue to afford our comforts. Maybe after returning to these pieces, you will decide that enough is enough and you will join a few others outside the Governor’s office on the fourth floor of the Roundhouse this Friday at noon.

Columbus & Other Cannibals: An Indigenous View of Western “Civil”ization, Capitalism & Colonialism. A Must Read.

Tuesday, March 3. The post is a review of a book that Dahr Jamail, award winning climate crisis writer, called “the most important book you could read in 2020.” I agree. In Columbus and Other Cannibals, author Jack Forbes outlines how humankind has developed a form of viral disease that he calls “Wetika” or “diabolical wickedness or cannibalism.”

In only 200 pages, Forbes proceeds to examine the march of history from Christ to the present, examining one historic event after another through the lens of indigenous thinkers or medicine men and through the reports from Western missionaries, colonists, and corporatists. The chasm between the words of indigenous thinkers and their reverence for the earth and all its inhabitants, and the unbridled greed and hubris of the more “civil”ized leaders of Western thought are knee-buckling.

It is hard to feel anything but shame at how we have evolved and the implications for indigenous peoples and for this planet. It is a critically important post as it forces each of us to examine the cost of our comforts, our phones, our cars, our lights and even our winter fruits from Central America and Mexico. They all come at a cost to the earth and to unseen millions of peoples.

Click here to read the full post. And please share this post and the one below with a friend or two.

When Is Enough Enough?

Thursday, March 5. This post was Part II of a review of Columbus and Other Cannibals. This post begins with an examination of how Forbes tied his central theme from part I of the book to a range of manifestations of Western Civilization colonial, capitalist practices: terrorism, misogyny, male violence, organized crime and organized religion. In each instance he showed how Western governments, corporations and missionaries have oppressed populations worldwide in service of their profit. It is stunning work.

Forbes ends by pondering about what an effective resistance would look like. This led to the post posing the question of what it might look like here in NM, offering ideas of our own and also those of readers.

Click here to read the full post.

Radioactive Fracking Water Used to De-Ice Roads. A completely Unregulated Disaster. Plus articles on Biden, Trump & Coronavirus, and Leaking Benzene in New Mexico

Saturday, March 7. On Saturday, we featured four separate reports covering fracked radioactive waste disposal, benzene leaks in southern NM, Trump’s perilously stupid Coronavirus policy, and a report on Biden being the perfect Trump foil. This is a new approach for our Saturday post. We presented brief descriptions for four prominent articles and let you decide what to read. While we obviously thought all four articles were worth your time, the Rolling Stone article was shocking as it described the degree to which the fracking industry has an unbridled license to dispose of its highly toxic, radiation infused “produced water.” Everyone needs to read this article as it describes a regulatory system completely disabled and a capitalist greed unbridled. There is simply no way to overstate how shocking this article is. Having said that, the article about benzene leaks in Artesia, NM is definitely worth your time, as well. It is hard to understand how this plant is not getting more coverage in NM as this plant sits directly across the street from an elementary school and community park, spewing benzene into the air with noxious leukemia causing fumes 24-7 while child choke on the fumes.

Click here to read Saturday’s post and get access to the Rolling Stone article.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne

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